Water scarcity already affects every continent. Around 1.2 billion people, or almost one-fifth of the world's population, live in physical water scarcity, and 500 million people are approaching this situation. Another 1.6 billion people, or almost one quarter of the world's population, face economic water shortage where countries lack the necessary infrastructure to take water from rivers and aquifers.
Since we deployed the EcoVision tool, more than 10 years ago, it has been mandatory for all industrial sites to report on water withdrawal. From this we know Philips is not a water-intensive company, as at most of our sites water is merely used for domestic purposes. Nevertheless, the reduction of water withdrawal is part of our Green Manufacturing program, setting a 25% reduction goal in the period 2007 – 2015. We have achieved this goal ahead of target, reaching a 46% reduction of water withdrawal volume in 2014. This has been possible with the implementation of several reduction programs.

Water in our supply chain

The exposure of our supply chain to water risk is part of our audit program. To prioritize engagement with our suppliers we identify so called 'risk supplier' based on turnover and geographical location. Suppliers in regions that are currently, or could potentially, be impacted by water risk are required to report on their water use, risks and management. For example, in 2014 our work with the Institute of Public & Environmental Affairs (IPE) in China, that publishes a map of Chinese factories linked to water and air pollution, led to the effective problem solving of a case of water pollution at a supplier in Guangdong province, China.